Somerset animal lover looks after injured bats in her bedroom

Ellie Hack Bat Conservation TrustImage copyright Ellie Hack
Image caption Ellie Hack says bats are “totally amazing”

An animal lover cares for wounded and unwell bats by keeping them in her bedroom.

Conservation volunteer Ellie Hack, 28, from Frome in Somerset, became busier as the number of creatures that need rescuing increased in the hot spring.

The animals live in cages in her rented bedroom where she nurses them back to health.

And Ms Hack said her landlady “gets grossed out” when she rips the heads off mealworms to feed to them.

Image copyright Ellie Hack
Image caption Bat populations are in decline in the UK and Ellie says the number needing rescuing has increased this year

She has up to six bats at once living in special pens in her bedroom, and gives them medication and allows them to fly around to test their wings before they are released back into the wild.

“I have to bat-proof the room when I do that, by covering everything with throws and towels and blocking any hole that they could hide in.”

“They squeak a lot, and they’re also very loud eaters so I sleep with earplugs in.”

She said her landlord, Mike, and landlady, Celia, were very supportive and “love” having bats in the house..

“They think it’s great, but the thing that grosses Celia out the most is the live meal worms that they get fed.

“I have to rip their heads off when I feed them. You hold the bat in your hand and take the head off and squeeze its guts out on to the bottom lip.

“Once they’ve got a taste for it they grab it and munch away.”

Image copyright Ellie Hack
Image caption Ellie looks after the nocturnal animals in her bedroom and gets up three times a night to feed younger bats in her care

A volunteer for the Bat Conservation Trust, Ms Hack said she had always loved animals “since I was tiny” and was interested in bats in particular because it was a passion of her late father.

“Bats are so complicated and there’s so little that we understand about them. They are totally amazing.”

She said she was also a lifelong vegan and was “passionate about animal rights and animal welfare”.

“I feel a bit guilty about the mealworms, but I’m doing it for the bats.”

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